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GOOD MORNING! Recently, I was asked by Shabbat Shalom reader Bob Diener, to come up with 10 rules for people to review and to live by to make this a better world. What an interesting idea! I share with you this week my list:
10 Rules for Perfecting Humanity
- Speak Right
- Act with Honesty and Integrity
- Respect Others
- Be Kind to Others
- Study Wisdom
- Work for a Cause
- Be Humble
- Make a Daily Accounting
- Be Real with G-d and Life
And here is my explanation:
1. Speak Right -- Gossip is the verbal atomic bomb of relationships. It destroys marriages, businesses, friendships. Just because it's true doesn't mean that you have to -- or should -- say it. High level people speak about ideas, average people speak about things, inferior people speak about people. Go for the high level! A kind word at the right time can change a life, inspire, encourage greatness!
2. Act with Honesty and Integrity -- Your word is your bond. You may gain in the short term in money or success through dishonesty, but it will cost you a loss of respect, trust, love and close relationships. If you always answer truthfully, you will avoid doing things that you would be embarrassed to explain.
3. Respect Others -- Rabbi Akiva said it best, "Don't do unto others as you would not want done to you." Every person on this planet is created in the image of the Almighty. If you don't respect others, you don't respect the Almighty!
4. Be Kind to Others -- Go out of your way each day to help others. Hold a door for someone, help carry the groceries into the house, listen when you would rather run away, smile at others and find something nice to say. Meaning in life comes from serving a higher goal... like helping others.
5. Study Wisdom -- Pirke Avot, Ethics of Our Fathers, says, "An uneducated person cannot be righteous." You need to study wisdom in order to know what to do or not to do, what to say or what not to say. Study of wisdom keeps you focused and helps you grow. It keeps you in contact with your beliefs and values. The Torah is a compendium of wisdom; it is the instruction book for life.
6. Work for a Cause -- Be bigger than yourself! Work to perfect the world! After 120 years on your death bed you'll look back on your life. Do you want to measure your life in terms of how many vacations you took or steaks you ate, or what you did to help others and make this a better world. One person and the Almighty is a majority. You can change the world -- or your community -- or your family -- or yourself. Love justice and counter injustice and evil!
7. Be Humble -- Wisdom only enters a humble person. An arrogant person is too full of himself for anything to enter. Humility is not letting people walk all over you; humility is knowing exactly what your talents and capabilities are and knowing that they are gifts from the Almighty. What would you think of a person who says, "Hey, look at me! I can wave my hand"? Is it any different if a person says, "Hey, look at me! I can do differential calculus"? Don't be arrogant over using your potential. Be thankful.
8. Pray -- G-d doesn't need our prayers. We need prayer to focus us on the source of our blessings, the Almighty. Knowing from where our blessings come makes it good for the Almighty to give to us. Even if a person doesn't believe in G-d, praying makes a person realize that he himself is not G-d.
9. Make a Daily Accounting -- Growth and accomplishment only comes through focus and effort. Each day ask yourself: 1) What am I living for? 2) What did I do towards my goal today? 3) What did I do away from my goal today? 4) What is a better goal to work towards?
10. Be real with G-d and with Life. Being real with G-d is realizing that there are consequences for your actions. There is no free lunch. Ultimately there is reward for good actions and punishment for your transgressions ... if not in this world, then in the next. Being real with life is realizing that you are going to die. We think there is a club of people who die ... and we don't belong. Everyone dies. If you had a clock on top of your television counting down to the day of your death, at what point would you get up and turn off the television and do all the things that you have been putting off?
This is my list. It would be worthwhile for you to make your own list. After all, it's your life! Send me your list and thoughts. Fax to: 305-531-9334 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "My List" in the subject field. Who knows, together we might come up with something ...for humanity and a future weekly edition!
Torah Portion of the Week
Naso, Numbers 4:21 - 7:89
Then four laws relating to the Cohanim are given: 1) restitution for stolen property where the owner is deceased and has no next of kin -- goes to the Cohanim 2) If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he brings her to the Cohanim for the Sotah clarification ceremony 3) if a person chooses to withdraw from the material world and consecrate himself exclusively to the service of the Almighty by becoming a Nazir (vowing not to drink wine or eat grape products, come in contact with dead bodies or cut his hair), he must come to the Cohen at the completion of the vow 4) the Cohanim were instructed to bless the people with this blessing: "May the L-rd bless you and keep you. May the L-rd make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the L-rd lift up His Countenance upon you and give you peace."
The Mishkan is erected and dedicated on the first of Nissan in the second year after the exodus. The leaders of each tribe jointly give wagons and oxen to transport the Mishkan. During each of the twelve days of dedication, successively each tribal prince gives gifts of gold and silver vessels, sacrificial animals and meal offerings. Every prince gives exactly the same gifts as every other prince.
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin The Torah tells the Kohanim to bless the Jewish people. The blessing begins with "May the L-rd bless you and keep you." (Numbers 6:24) Why are the Jewish people blessed in the singular?
Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov explains that this is to teach us that the greatest blessing is that of unity. When we feel as if we are one unit, with togetherness, then we are truly blessed -- and we feel that blessing.
It is easy to focus on the differences among people and to consider yourself as separate from others. Truly no two people are exactly alike. However, there are many common factors among people. By focusing on the fact that every human being is created in the image of the Almighty, you will have greater identification with others and this will lead to greater unity.
CANDLE LIGHTING - May 10:
(or go to http://aish.com/candlelighting)
Guatemala 6:07 Hong Kong 6:42 Honolulu 6:48
J'Burg 5:06 London 8:40 Los Angeles 7:36
Melbourne 4:55 Miami 7:46 Moscow 8:31
New York 7:56 Singapore 6:47
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Knowledge comes from taking things apart,
and wisdom comes with putting them together.
Happy 91st Birthday